Yes, you read the blog title right…
Chocolate CAN actually be good for you, and has plenty of health benefits too – so you don’t have to beat yourself up!
Of course, there’s a reason doctors and health professionals aren’t telling you to go to the nearest store and stock up on as much Hershey’s as you can get your hands on.
When it comes to your health, chocolate can be a mixed bag…
On the one hand, it’s packed with antioxidants.
On the other, many chocolate bars contain a substantial amount of sugar.
So, because of that, I decided to let you in on the good side of chocolate that justifies our chocolate consumption, and outline the things you need to look out for and be aware of too.
When your next chocolate craving jumps on you, (because that’s what it does so sneakily) you know how to choose smart.
Where do the health benefits of chocolate come from?
They come from cacao.
If you want to be really specific, they come from flavonoids – they’re the things that are responsible for chocolate’s unique taste that everyone knows, and also protect you from a number of diseases, including asthma and diabetes.
Thanks to flavonoids, scientists have linked cacao consumption to lots of healthy benefits…
Just make sure you choose the dark type!
Chocolate Can Keep Your Heart Healthy!
Firstly, if you want to live a long and healthy life, you’ve got to look after your heart and the good news is a daily dose of dark chocolate could be doing wonders to help protect your heart.
Multiple studies have shown it helps to lower blood pressure and improve it too.
It Can Slow Down Memory-Loss
As we get older, we can get a bit more forgetful.
But, an exciting recent study found that cacao could put the brakes on age-related memory loss.
It’s A Stress Buster
This is a good one…
You know when you’ve had a “bad day”, or you’re feeling a little stressed out and all you want to do is reach for a chocolate bar?
Well, turning to chocolate during these times may not be so bad after all.
Dark chocolate helps level-out stress (so you may want to keep a small stash of it in your desk drawer or handbag).
I always knew having chocolate was an instant way to cheer ourselves up 😉
Now, that doesn’t mean falling head first into a family-size bar of Hershey’s on a night, but science says a few squares can boost your happy chemicals and gives you that feel good rush.
Who are we to argue?
It Aids Weight Loss
Now, this one goes against everything we have ever been told about dieting and eating healthy, but it turns out chocolate can actually be used as a way to lose weight.
But it has to be in moderation.
By not taking part in diets that make you deprive yourself of treats like chocolate, we are less likely to fall off the wagon and over-eat later in the day.
So it’s absolutely ok to enjoy it, but let’s talk about the bitter-sweet truth, because even though it’s great – not all chocolate is created equal.
Processing and adding sugar strips the cacao of it’s nutritional goodness.
So, before you run out to stock up on chocolate, make sure you’re aware that you get your hands on the good stuff.
You should opt for dark over milk or white (if you have the choice).
Look out for chocolate with at least 70% cacao – the higher the better!
Cacao nibs are also on the healthier side of the chocolate spectrum.
At the end of the day, in spite of all the healthy benefits listed above, chocolate is to be enjoyed in moderation and a few squares could keep the doctor away.